Top Things to Do and See in Queen Elizabeth Park – Uganda

Posted by on November 13, 2018

Top Things to Do and See in Uganda’s Queen of Parks – Queen Elizabeth Park

Visit Queen Elizabeth Park – Tips – Information and Advice for a great Experiential Visit


The Things to Do and See in Queen Elizabeth Park – the list is endless.  Queen Elizabeth Park is the Premier Wildlife Park in Southwestern Uganda, a favorite Park with visitors to Uganda. Y ou have a wide variety of the Activities that can be done and seen here. One can easily spend 5 days in the southern Ishasha and norther Mweya Regions of the Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park should be on the must-visit list of every visitor to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest since it is only a short drive from the northern Buhoma Area and one can discover the Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha, the chimpanzees of the Kyambura Gorge, the multitude of Birds, Hippos, wildlife along the incredible Kazinga Channel.

Hike through Maramagambo Forest, birding trails abound here, all in the shadows of the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon in the north and the Mitumbe Mountains of the Congo in the East.


 Queen Elizabeth Park was established in 1952 when it was called Kazinga National Park when Queen Elizabeth ll came to visit in 1964. A Name Change soon followed to the present one.

Things to Do and See in Queen Elizabeth is one of Uganda’s most popular tourist destinations and understandably so. Its 2000 square kilometers cover a lot of territories, teeming with African Wildlife.  From elephants to leopards, there are 95 species of mammals, 619 species of birds, reptiles including crocodiles and Monitor Lizards.

Not only can visitors to the park see the scenic wonders, wildlife but meet and experience Ugandan culture through interactive meetings with various communities near the park.

Queen Elizabeth Park has a variety of habitats such as Savannah Grassland mixed with various kinds of trees, shrubs, including the candelabra Euphorbia trees. Though the Albertine Rift is quite hot and dry and yet in this environment, you will find, lakes, rivers and swamps, there is also forest lands, the vast Maramagambo Forest covers over one-fifth of the park.

Big G ame in Abundance

Queen Elizabeth Park is home to about 5000 hippos, 3000 Elephants and there are over 10,000 of Cape Buffaloes, but there are also Warthogs, Waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and even the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelope.

Queen Elizabeth Park is an Elephant success story, in fact, elephants have increased by 600% since  1980, In Queen Elizabeth Park, in particular, the growth of the Elephant population has been phenomenal returning to the levels of 1960.

Primates

Ten species of primates enjoy the park’s diverse habitats, the most popular of which is undoubtedly the chimpanzee. Vervet and black-and-white colobus monkeys are easily spotted in the trees.

Birds

Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an incredible treat as it has a variety of habitats that range from savanna to wetlands to lowland forests. This diversity is reflected in the list of over 619 bird species, the largest amount of any protected area in East Africa. Queen Elizabeth Park is a must for birders who are visiting Uganda.

Big Cats

For many visitors to Queen Elizabeth Park, the best attraction are the felines. Here you can find Lions, Leopards, Civet, Genal and Serval Cats. Lions are found throughout the Park and the southern Ishasha sector is home to the best place in Africa for tree-climbing lions. Many of the smaller cats are strictly nocturnal and are best seen during nocturnal game drives.


Visit Queen Elizabeth Park – The things to do and see from Wildlife to Primates


 Wildlife Game Drives:

Wildlife Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth prove to be a delight. There are 3,00 Elephants, over 10,000 buffaloes and you can find elephants even in the crater Valleys along the explosion crater drive…

Not only are there buffaloes and elephants but warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi Antelopes and even the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelopes that have webbed toes.

Queen Elizabeth Park is also home to a number of feline cats that you can often spot on game drives, in some cases on Night Game Drives such as lions, leopards, civet cats, genal, and serval cats.

Wildlife abounds in Queen Elizabeth Park, most every visitors see some lions on their game drives  in Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda.

Vehicle is equipped with pop-up roof – Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger accompanies you on Game Drives.


 Kazinga Channel – Boat Safari:

Queen Elizabeth Park is home to 5000 hippos which is one of the largest concentration of hippos in Africa and in Queen Elizabeth National Park they are found along Kazinga Channel.

Kazinga Channel is a 2 hour plus Boat Safari where you can see hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, elephant herds, buffaloes, antelopes and many hundreds of different kinds of water birds.

This is one of the highlights of your time in Queen Elizabeth Park.  We suggest that you use the Mweya Safari Lodge Boat for your Kazinga Channel.  This is the only we normally book for our Clients

The Kazinga Boat Safari is one of the must do and see highlights of a safari to Queen Elizabeth Park.


 Mongoose Tracking:

One of the little known about activities in Queen Elizabeth Park is Mongoose Research Tracking on the Mweya Peninsula.

This is a 3-hour activity that can be done with a guide who accompanies you as you set off to the Mongoose Research Area where you can observe the Banded Mongoose and learn about their habits and ways.

This is a fascinating activity and you will see other wildlife, birds along the hike as you venture along Kazinga Channel on the Mweya Peninsula.

We can include Mongoose Research Activity in your Queen Elizabeth Park Safari Itinerary. 

This is on foot guided hike along the Mweya Peninsula overlooking the Kazinga Channel

More Experiential Activities in Quen Elizabeth Park


 Lion Research Tracking:

Each morning or late afternoon you can take part in a Lion Tracking Research Experience in Queen Elizabeth Park, these tracking times last between one to three hours and are done twice a day and tracks lions who have radio-collars attached to them. You will be with researchers and learn the habits of the Lions in Queen Elizabeth Park.

This Lion Tracking Experience is limited to just a few visitors and one must be booked ahead of time in order to take part in this unique lion tracking.

Let us know if you like to include this most unusual Lion Tracking Experience in Queen Elizabeth Park during your safari. This is a different experience since you are going out with researchers, not just a normal game drive. There is limited space and it must be booked well in advance by us.

More about Experiential Activities in Queen Elizabeth Park


 Birding in Queen Elizabeth Park:

Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is one of the best parks for birding in Uganda if not in all of Africa with 619 species that are found in this Birders Paradise.

Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an incredible treat as it has a variety of habitats that range from savanna to wetlands to lowland forests.

Present in the park, are many water birds, woodland and forest dwellers in the Maramagambo Forest, 54 raptors and various migratory species. Key species include the Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pink-backed Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Shoebill, Bar-tailed Godwit.

Queen Elizabeth Park known for excellent Birding.


 Hiking in Queen Elizabeth National Park:

Nature Walks and Hiking opportunities – at Queen Elizabeth Park you are not stuck in a vehicle but you can get out explore areas such as Maramagambo Forest, Kyambura Gorge which is part of the Western Rift Valley, the Mweya Peninsula, and you hike along the Ishasha River in Ishasha.

If you are an avid hiker, love nature walks then you will find Queen Elizabeth Park just the right place for you.

. Queen Elizabeth Park does not mean being stuck in a vehicle but the freedom to explore and discover out of the vehicle on foot along Ishasha River, in Maramagambo Forest, exploring the Kyambura Gorge with the River of the Blind, and along the Mweya Peninsula that overlooks the Kazinga Tracking.

Hiking Tips and advice in Uganda.


 Chimpanzee Tracking – Kyambura Gorge:

There are 10 species of primates found in Queen Elizabeth Park – the most popular one is the Chimpanzee which is found in the gash in the Savannah – the Kyambura Gorge which has been called “the lost valley” by BBC in a documentary and is commonly referred to “the Valley of the Apes.”

Kyambura Gorge on a Chimpanzee Trek is one of the fascinating areas in Queen Elizabeth Park to see, as you the descent into the valley you will be simply amazed.

Please Note:  Chimpanzee Sightings are no longer the sure thing as in the past.  If your main focus is chimpanzee Trekking and you not be going to Kibale Forest, we recommend Kalinzu Forest which has become the second best place for Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda.

In the Gorge, you cross Rivers, meander through the thick forest in search of chimpanzees and spot other wildlife, primates and birds as you do so.

Chimpanzee Trekking here is 100 USD less than in Kibale Forest National Park.


This Ironwood forest – plus fruit trees is a place buzzing with primates, including chimpanzees, baboons, and several monkey species, the forest is also alive with many birds including the rare Forest Flycatcher, White-naped Pigeon and the striking Rwenzori Turaco.

One can also visit the ‘cormorant house’, a large tree that has been turned white by the birds that roost here at night.

Maramagambo is a favorite with birders but also with hikers that take the Bat Cave Trail that takes them to a Bat Cave viewing area from which ts resident pythons. The viewing area was constructed by the American Center for Disease Control and it is designed for your protection.

 Ishasha Tree Climbing Lions:

This remote southern region enjoys fewer visitors than the north, but those who venture this far may be rewarded with sightings of Ishasha’s most famous residents – the tree-climbing lions – lounging in the branches while keeping a close eye on the herds of Uganda Kob. It is also home to many buffaloes and elephants as well as the rare shoebill stork.
Ishasha is also a convenient region to pass through on the way to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A place to stop in and take a game drive to see the rare in Africa tree-climbing lions.

A fantastic experience is to stay one or two nights at the  Ishasha Wilderness Lodge in the south of Queen Elizabeth Park in the Ishasha Region.

A bush breakfast adds extra cost to your stay at a lodge, but it is well worth it for the experience that you will have.


 .Kyambura Wildlife Reserve:

Kyambura Wildlife Reserve along with its beautiful crater lakes found in this reserve is a great add-on visit to Queen Elizabeth Park.  It is a short distance from Queen Elizabeth Park.
The Kyambura Wildlife Reserve is located to the east of Kyambura Gorge and offers excellent opportunities to see many water birds including greater and lesser flamingos (during their season and time Uganda) and the great egret.
One can go on wildlife game drives here, take guided nature walks, see the crater lakes and simply enjoy this as an addition to Queen Elizabeth Park.  The good news is that there is no additional cost besides your daily park fees at Queen Elizabeth Park.
Please remember the flamingos are migratory birds and are seen during the northern winter season in Uganda but after that, they head north again.

The huge round basins scattered across the equator are evidence of the Albertine Rift’s bubbling volcanic activity in times past. A past which was not that long ago and occurred around the time the Egyptian pyramids were built.
The explosion craters are a must-see for those with a particular interest in the region’s fascinating geological history.
Even National Geographic has found this a fascinating area and has published pictures of it.
The 27km drive between Kabatoro gate and Queen’s Pavilion takes in views of the enormous craters, circular lakes, the vast Rift Valley escarpment and the Kazinga channel, Lake George and Lake Edward – all with a view of the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon.

 A Visit to the Ancient Lake Katwe Salt Works:

This unusual lake is far too salty to support much wildlife – though since the 16th Century it has ensured the survival of the Katwe villagers, who spend their days under the equatorial sun, walking the network of paths that criss-cross to  the lake and harvesting salt from its milky waters.
The work here is dangerous since the saline waters do much damage to the body of those who spend all day in the lake harvesting the salt which at one time was like gold and brought wealth to the area, however today the salt from Katwe does not bring wealth since times have changed and salt is readily available from various sources.
Katwe Salt Lake Tour gives a unique insight into the fascinating yet tough process of salt mining, as well as providing an alternative income for Katwe. See villagers at work on the lake, cross the mud walkways and enter a traditional grass hut. You will also pass the nearby bird sanctuary lake, home to thousands of birds, including flamingos from October

 Leopard Village:

Leopard Village is a community-run, socio-economic development initiative that promotes cultural and wildlife conservation through ecotourism. Located near the village of Muhokya, Leopard Village sits on 3 acres bordering the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.Visitors can tour replicas of the traditional huts of the Banyabindi, Bakonzo, and Basongora ethnic groups, watch the traditional song and dance performances, and buy handicrafts made by local communities.
Longer visits can include conversations with community members about the challenges and opportunities they face living next to the park, visits to local schools, and discussions about traditional village life and solutions for human-wildlife conflict.

Leopard Village is a partnership between the local communities of Muhokya, Kahenderoand Hamukungu, and the Uganda Carnivore Program, with support from zoos in the United States and Germany.


K ikorongo Women Community:

The word Kikorongo means Too Much Sunshine in the local language of Lukonzo – but the heat of the African plains has not diminished the energy of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Performers!

This vibrant dance and musical performance, which takes place at lodges around the park, is a wonderful glimpse of life in Kikorongo, with dance, drama, music, and fire-making. While a local interpreter explains the significance of the performances, you can sit back and watch village life unfold in front of you.

Kikorongo’s African Art – Craft Workshops teaches guests how to weave baskets and bowls using natural fibers – it´s not as easy as the teachers make it look! They also show you how to recycle magazines into colorful paper beads, which can be made into unique necklaces.
The good thing here is that not only do you have some cultural interaction but learn some new skills.

 Kalinzu Forest- one of Uganda’s Best Chimpanzee Tracking locations:

Kalinzu Forest can easily be tacked on to an itinerary that takes in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

This is one of the National Forests of Uganda and is not managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority.  Here you can track Chimpanzees beginning at age 12 and not 15.

The chimpanzees here have been habituated by Japanese Researchers for many years and are quite easily found while out on a Chimpanzee Trek with guides.

You can go on Nature Walks and Hikes seeing various primates, birds, and other animals.

Kalinzu Forest is a 45-minute drive from most lodges in the Mweya Area of Queen Elizabeth Park.

In 2018 it became the 2nd Best Chimpanzee Tracking Location.


 The Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest Reserve:

The Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest is near Queen Elizabeth Park, south of the Kazinga Channel and Lake George.  The Forest, is a place of discovery – primates, birds, hiking trails, crater lakes, all off of the beaten tourist path, another one of those hidden gems found in the Pearl of Africa.

While visiting the forest stay at Nyanzibiri Eco-Community Camp.  The Camp is located on two crater lakes, has a museum and you can visit a cave that is nearby

This is another hiking trail off of the beaten path in Uganda taking in waterfalls, crater lakes, primates and birds, forest elephants may be seen at times.

The added plus is that you hiking without the crowds


 Hitting the Trails in Queen Elizabeth Park:

Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda is more than a place where to take Game Drives.  It means getting out of the Vehicle and hitting the Trails in the park.

Hiking is often seen as a backpacker’s activity we take it is a step further.  We specialize in incorporating hikes into midrange and luxury Safaris.

Queen Elizabeth has many opportunities in and near the park.  We add more as we discover them or even create new ones.

Simply let us know that you want to hit the Trails on your Safari in Queen Elizabeth Park and we will do our best to incorporate them into you safari itinerary with us.

Hitting the trails has become more popular in recent years in Uganda.


 Best Safaris in Queen Elizabeth Park:

Here are our 3 to 7-day Queen Elizabeth Park Safaris. Safaris that will allow you to explore this vast park in Southwestern Uganda.

You can easily combine this park with others on a longer safari and experience even more of the Pearl of Africa.
This is a great Family Safari park, both for those with younger children and those with older ones and teens.

As a stand-alone safari park, Queen Elizabeth Park does very well with the variety of things you can see and do here.


Visit Queen Elizabeth Park – Enquire Today about a safari there